40 nights onboard Balmoral

Discovering the Amalfi & Dalmatian Coasts with Greece & Turkey

Winners 2022 Favourite Ocean Cruise Line

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space, including an al-fresco restaurant.

Leaving from: Valencia
Cruise ship: Balmoral
Visiting: Valencia Valencia Mahón, Menorca Propriano, Corsica
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Logo
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred Olsen Cruises combine quality cruise experiences with customer-friendly value. They’ve plied the waves for 175 years, and are still going as strong today as their first day at sea.

Offering a stylish & understated style of traditional cruising, the line prides itself on its Signature Experience programme- helping passengers to gain an in-depth understanding of their destinations.

Ideal for passengers seeking a laid-back cruise, with an informal and friendly atmosphere aboard.

1325
Passengers
551
Crew
1987
Launched
2019
Last refit
43537t
Tonnage
218m
Length
32m
Width
18kts
Speed
10
Decks
GBP
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Days 1 - 2
Valencia, Spain
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Early PM
Day 2
River travel
Arrival time: Late Night; Departure time: Late Night
Day 3
Mahón, Menorca, Spain
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 4
Propriano, Corsica, France
Arrival time: Early PM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 5
La Spezia, Italy
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 7
Salerno, Italy
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 7
River travel
Arrival time: Late Night; Departure time: Late Night
Day 8
Naples, Italy
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 9
Sorrento, Italy
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Days 10 - 11
Civitavecchia, Italy
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Days 13 - 15
River travel
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 15
Kotor, Montenegro
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 17
Koper, Slovenia
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 18
River travel
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late AM
Day 18
Sibenik, Croatia
Arrival time: Late AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 19
Split, Croatia
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 19
River travel
Arrival time: Late PM; Departure time: Late Night
Days 20 - 21
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 23
Argostoli, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 23
River travel
Arrival time: Late PM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 24
Kalamáta, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 25
Piraeus, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 26
Santorini, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Day 27
Agios Nikólaos, Kríti, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Days 28 - 29
Rhodes, Greece
Arrival time: Late PM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 31
Bodrum, Turkey
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 32
Kusadasi, Turkey
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 34
Istanbul, Turkey
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Day 37
Valletta, Malta
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Days 40 - 41
Málaga, Spain
Arrival time: Early PM
Valencia, Spain image
Days 1 - 2
Valencia, Spain
Valencia, Spain's third-largest municipality, is a proud city with a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene, quality museums, and spectacular contemporary architecture, juxtaposed with a thoroughly charming historic quarter, making it a popular destination year in year out. During the Civil War, it was the last seat of the Republican Loyalist government (1935–36), holding out against Franco’s National forces until the country fell to 40 years of dictatorship. Today it represents the essence of contemporary Spain—daring design and architecture along with experimental cuisine—but remains deeply conservative and proud of its traditions. Though it faces the Mediterranean, Valencia's history and geography have been defined most significantly by the River Turia and the fertile huerta that surrounds it.The city has been fiercely contested ever since it was founded by the Greeks. El Cid captured Valencia from the Moors in 1094 and won his strangest victory here in 1099: he died in the battle, but his corpse was strapped into his saddle and so frightened the besieging Moors that it caused their complete defeat. In 1102 his widow, Jimena, was forced to return the city to Moorish rule; Jaume I finally drove them out in 1238. Modern Valencia was best known for its frequent disastrous floods until the River Turia was diverted to the south in the late 1950s. Since then the city has been on a steady course of urban beautification. The lovely bridges that once spanned the Turia look equally graceful spanning a wandering municipal park, and the spectacularly futuristic Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences), most of it designed by Valencia-born architect Santiago Calatrava, has at last created an exciting architectural link between this river town and the Mediterranean. If you're in Valencia, an excursion to Albufera Nature Park is a worthwhile day trip.
River travel image
Day 2
River travel
Arrival time: Late Night; Departure time: Late Night
Mahón, Menorca, Spain image
Day 3
Mahón, Menorca, Spain
The capital of Menorca since 1721, Mahon has a impressive natural deep water harbour, which is one of the largest in the world. This, coupled with its strategic location, has made it a stronghold for many nations throughout history. Mahon has an abundance of historical buildings, the oldest being the Arch of Saint Roc which is all that remains of the wall that once encircled the whole town. The island was occupied by the British during the 18th century and Lord Nelson is thought to have stayed there. Indeed, San Antoni Mansion, located on the north side of the harbour, houses a collection of Nelson memorabilia. The legacy of colonial rule can be seen in the muted Georgian style of some of the buildings, but Mahon still boasts attractive examples of neo-Classical, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. With narrow streets to explore, pleasant shaded squares and welcoming pavement cafés, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Please be aware that most shops in town close for a siesta between 1330 and 1730.
Propriano, Corsica, France image
Day 4
Propriano, Corsica, France
Arrival time: Early PM; Departure time: Late PM
La Spezia, Italy image
Day 5
La Spezia, Italy

La Spezia is sometimes thought of as nothing but a large, industrialized naval port en route to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere, but it does possess some charm, and it gives you a look at a less tourist-focused part of the Riviera.

Its palm-lined promenade, fertile citrus parks, renovated Liberty-style palazzos, and colorful balcony-lined streets make parts of La Spezia surprisingly beautiful.

Monday through Saturday mornings, you can stroll through the fresh fish, produce, and local-cheese stalls at the outdoor market on Piazza Cavour, and on Friday take part in the busy flea market on Via Garibaldi. There's also Porto Mirabello, a newly built tourist port with a pool club, shops, and several restaurants that overlook the fleet of super-yachts.

Salerno, Italy image
Day 7
Salerno, Italy
Salerno beckons with tales of maritime glory, its shores echoing with the echoes of ancient seafaring civilizations. Nestled along the picturesque Amalfi Coast, Salerno boasts a Mediterranean climate, where warm sea breezes kiss sun-kissed shores year-round. Cruise lines navigate these crystalline waters, offering a glimpse into Italy's authentic soul beyond the well-trodden paths. Visitors are treated to the region's culinary delights, from freshly caught seafood to fragrant lemon-infused dishes. As the gateway to the UNESCO-listed Amalfi Coast, Salerno invites exploration of its rugged cliffs and charming coastal villages, revealing the true essence of Italian coastal living.
River travel image
Day 7
River travel
Arrival time: Late Night; Departure time: Late Night
Naples, Italy image
Day 8
Naples, Italy
Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.
Sorrento, Italy image
Day 9
Sorrento, Italy
Perched atop the rugged cliffs of the Sorrentine Peninsula, this coastal gem beckons with tales of ancient glory. Its storied past, intertwined with tales of Greek and Roman mythology, lends an enchanting aura to the present-day landscape. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Sorrento offers balmy weather and breathtaking vistas, making it a haven for those seeking respite from the ordinary. Here, amidst lemon groves and olive orchards, cruisegoers find solace in the simplicity of life—a refreshing departure from bustling tourist hubs. And as dusk descends, the melodious strains of traditional Neapolitan music fill the air, evoking the true spirit of Southern Italy.
Civitavecchia, Italy image
Days 10 - 11
Civitavecchia, Italy

Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here.

Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.

River travel image
Days 13 - 15
River travel
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Kotor, Montenegro image
Day 15
Kotor, Montenegro
Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of the Bokor Kotorska (Kotor Bay), which is Europe's most southerly fjord. To many, this town is more charming than its sister UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dubrovnik, retaining more authenticity, but with fewer tourists and spared the war damage and subsequent rebuilding which has given Dubrovnik something of a Disney feel.Kotor's medieval Stari Grad (Old Town) is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries and is presided over by a proud hilltop fortress. Within the walls, a labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas, rimmed by centuries-old stone buildings. The squares are now haunted by strains from buskers but although many now house trendy cafés and chic boutiques, directions are still given medieval-style by reference to the town’s landmark churches.In the Middle Ages, as Serbia's chief port, Kotor was an important economic and cultural center with its own highly regarded schools of stonemasonry and iconography. From 1391 to 1420 it was an independent city-republic and later, it spent periods under Venetian, Austrian, and French rule, though it was undoubtedly the Venetians who left the strongest impression on the city's architecture. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, some 70% of the stone buildings in the romantic Old Town have been snapped up by foreigners, mostly Brits and Russians. Porto Montenegro, a new marina designed to accommodate some of the world’s largest super yachts, opened in nearby Tivat in 2011, and along the bay are other charming seaside villages, all with better views of the bay than the vista from Kotor itself where the waterside is congested with cruise ships and yachts. Try sleepy Muo or the settlement of Prčanj in one direction around the bay, or Perast and the Roman mosaics of Risan in the other direction.
Koper, Slovenia image
Day 17
Koper, Slovenia
Today a port town surrounded by industrial suburbs, Koper nevertheless warrants a visit. The Republic of Venice made Koper the regional capital during the 15th and 16th centuries, and the magnificent architecture of the Old Town bears witness to the spirit of those times.The most important buildings are clustered around Titov trg, the central town square. Here stands the Cathedral, which can be visited daily from 7 to noon and 3 to 7, with its fine Venetian Gothic facade and bell tower dating back to 1664. Across the square the splendid Praetor's Palace, formerly the seat of the Venetian Grand Council, combines Gothic and Renaissance styles. From the west side of Titov trg, the narrow, cobbled Kidriceva ulica brings you down to the seafront.
River travel image
Day 18
River travel
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late AM
Sibenik, Croatia image
Day 18
Sibenik, Croatia
Šibenik's main monument, its Gothic-Renaissance cathedral, built of pale-gray Dalmatian stone and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands on a raised piazza close to the seafront promenade. From here a network of narrow, cobbled streets leads through the medieval quarter of tightly packed, terra-cotta–roof houses, and up to the ruins of a 16th-century hilltop fortress. The city has never been a real tourist destination. Before the Croatian war for independence, it was a relatively prosperous industrial center, but when the factories closed, Šibenik sank into an economic depression. However, the cathedral more than warrants a look, and it makes a decent base for visiting the waterfalls of Krka National Park.
Split, Croatia image
Day 19
Split, Croatia
Split's ancient core is so spectacular and unusual that a visit is more than worth your time. The heart of the city lies within the walls of Roman emperor Diocletian's retirement palace, which was built in the 3rd century AD. Diocletian, born in the nearby Roman settlement of Salona in AD 245, achieved a brilliant career as a soldier and became emperor at the age of 40. In 295 he ordered this vast palace to be built in his native Dalmatia, and when it was completed he stepped down from the throne and retired to his beloved homeland. Upon his death, he was laid to rest in an octagonal mausoleum, around which Split's magnificent cathedral was built.In 615, when Salona was sacked by barbarian tribes, those fortunate enough to escape found refuge within the stout palace walls and divided up the vast imperial apartments into more modest living quarters. Thus, the palace developed into an urban center, and by the 11th century the settlement had expanded beyond the ancient walls.Under the rule of Venice (1420–1797), Split—as a gateway to the Balkan interior—became one of the Adriatic's main trading ports, and the city's splendid Renaissance palaces bear witness to the affluence of those times. When the Habsburgs took control during the 19th century, an overland connection to Central Europe was established by the construction of the Split–Zagreb–Vienna railway line.After World War II, the Tito years saw a period of rapid urban expansion: industrialization accelerated and the suburbs extended to accommodate high-rise apartment blocks. Today the historic center of Split is included on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
River travel image
Day 19
River travel
Arrival time: Late PM; Departure time: Late Night
Dubrovnik, Croatia image
Days 20 - 21
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Dubrovnik. Lying 216 km (135 miles) southeast of Split and commanding a jaw-dropping coastal location, it is one of the world's most beautiful fortified cities. Its massive stone ramparts and fortress towers curve around a tiny harbor, enclosing graduated ridges of sun-bleached orange-tiled roofs, copper domes, and elegant bell towers. Your imagination will run wild picturing what it looked like seven centuries ago when the walls were built, without any suburbs or highways around it, just this magnificent stone city rising out of the sea.In the 7th century AD, residents of the Roman city Epidaurum (now Cavtat) fled the Avars and Slavs of the north and founded a new settlement on a small rocky island, which they named Laus, and later Ragusa. On the mainland hillside opposite the island, the Slav settlement called Dubrovnik grew up. In the 12th century the narrow channel separating the two settlements was filled in (now the main street through the Old Town, called Stradun), and Ragusa and Dubrovnik became one. The city was surrounded by defensive walls during the 13th century, and these were reinforced with towers and bastions in the late 15th century.From 1358 to 1808 the city thrived as a powerful and remarkably sophisticated independent republic, reaching its golden age during the 16th century. In 1667 many of its splendid Gothic and Renaissance buildings were destroyed by an earthquake. The defensive walls survived the disaster, and the city was rebuilt in baroque style.Dubrovnik lost its independence to Napoléon in 1808, and in 1815 passed to Austria-Hungary. During the 20th century, as part of Yugoslavia, the city became a popular tourist destination, and in 1979 it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the war for independence, it came under heavy siege. Thanks to careful restoration, few traces of damage remain; however, there are maps inside the Pile and Ploče Gates illustrating the points around the city where damage was done. It’s only when you experience Dubrovnik yourself that you can understand what a treasure the world nearly lost

Argostoli, Greece image
Day 23
Argostoli, Greece
Ground literally to ashes in World War II and wracked by a massive earthquake a decade later, the capital of Kefalonia once more shows pride in its native spirit and natural beauty. The vast harbor on Argostoli’s east side makes an especially attractive port for cruise ships full of visitors who never seem to tire of strolling the cobbled seaside promenade, sipping ouzos in cafés, and stocking up on the succulent Mediterranean fruits in the outdoor markets.
River travel image
Day 23
River travel
Arrival time: Late PM; Departure time: Late Night
Kalamáta, Greece image
Day 24
Kalamáta, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late PM
Piraeus, Greece image
Day 25
Piraeus, Greece
It's no wonder that all roads lead to the fascinating and maddening metropolis of Athens. Lift your eyes 200 feet above the city to the Parthenon, its honey-color marble columns rising from a massive limestone base, and you behold architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years. But, today, this shrine of classical form dominates a 21st-century boomtown. To experience Athens—Athína in Greek—fully is to understand the essence of Greece: ancient monuments surviving in a sea of cement, startling beauty amid the squalor, tradition juxtaposed with modernity. Locals depend on humor and flexibility to deal with the chaos; you should do the same. The rewards are immense. Although Athens covers a huge area, the major landmarks of the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are close to the modern city center. You can easily walk from the Acropolis to many other key sites, taking time to browse in shops and relax in cafés and tavernas along the way. From many quarters of the city you can glimpse "the glory that was Greece" in the form of the Acropolis looming above the horizon, but only by actually climbing that rocky precipice can you feel the impact of the ancient settlement. The Acropolis and Filopappou, two craggy hills sitting side by side; the ancient Agora (marketplace); and Kerameikos, the first cemetery, form the core of ancient and Roman Athens. Along the Unification of Archaeological Sites promenade, you can follow stone-paved, tree-lined walkways from site to site, undisturbed by traffic. Cars have also been banned or reduced in other streets in the historical center. In the National Archaeological Museum, vast numbers of artifacts illustrate the many millennia of Greek civilization; smaller museums such as the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum illuminate the history of particular regions or periods. Athens may seem like one huge city, but it is really a conglomeration of neighborhoods with distinctive characters. The Eastern influences that prevailed during the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire are still evident in Monastiraki, the bazaar area near the foot of the Acropolis. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, stroll through Plaka (if possible by moonlight), an area of tranquil streets lined with renovated mansions, to get the flavor of the 19th-century's gracious lifestyle. The narrow lanes of Anafiotika, a section of Plaka, thread past tiny churches and small, color-washed houses with wooden upper stories, recalling a Cycladic island village. In this maze of winding streets, vestiges of the older city are everywhere: crumbling stairways lined with festive tavernas; dank cellars filled with wine vats; occasionally a court or diminutive garden, enclosed within high walls and filled with magnolia trees and the flaming trumpet-shaped flowers of hibiscus bushes. Formerly run-down old quarters, such as Thission, Gazi and Psirri, popular nightlife areas filled with bars and mezedopoleia (similar to tapas bars), are now in the process of gentrification, although they still retain much of their original charm, as does the colorful produce and meat market on Athinas. The area around Syntagma Square, the tourist hub, and Omonia Square, the commercial heart of the city about 1 km (½ mi) northwest, is distinctly European, having been designed by the court architects of King Otho, a Bavarian, in the 19th century. The chic shops and bistros of ritzy Kolonaki nestle at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus, Athens's highest hill (909 feet). Each of Athens's outlying suburbs has a distinctive character: in the north is wealthy, tree-lined Kifissia, once a summer resort for aristocratic Athenians, and in the south and southeast lie Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni, with their sandy beaches, seaside bars, and lively summer nightlife. Just beyond the city's southern fringes is Piraeus, a bustling port city of waterside fish tavernas and Saronic Gulf views.
Santorini, Greece image
Day 26
Santorini, Greece
Undoubtedly the most extraordinary island in the Aegean, crescent-shape Santorini remains a mandatory stop on the Cycladic tourist route—even if it's necessary to enjoy the sensational sunsets from Ia, the fascinating excavations, and the dazzling white towns with a million other travelers. Called Kállisti (the "Loveliest") when first settled, the island has now reverted to its subsequent name of Thira, after the 9th-century-BC Dorian colonizer Thiras. The place is better known, however, these days as Santorini, a name derived from its patroness, St. Irene of Thessaloniki, the Byzantine empress who restored icons to Orthodoxy and died in 802. You can fly conveniently to Santorini, but to enjoy a true Santorini rite of passage, opt instead for the boat trip here, which provides a spectacular introduction. After the boat sails between Sikinos and Ios, your deck-side perch approaches two close islands with a passage between them. The bigger one on the left is Santorini, and the smaller on the right is Thirassia. Passing between them, you see the village of Ia adorning Santorini's northernmost cliff like a white geometric beehive. You are in the caldera (volcanic crater), one of the world's truly breathtaking sights: a demilune of cliffs rising 1,100 feet, with the white clusters of the towns of Fira and Ia perched along the top. The bay, once the high center of the island, is 1,300 feet in some places, so deep that when boats dock in Santorini's shabby little port of Athinios, they do not drop anchor. The encircling cliffs are the ancient rim of a still-active volcano, and you are sailing east across its flooded caldera. On your right are the Burnt isles, the White isle, and other volcanic remnants, all lined up as if some outsize display in a geology museum. Hephaestus's subterranean fires smolder still—the volcano erupted in 198 BC, about 735, and there was an earthquake in 1956. Indeed, Santorini and its four neighboring islets are the fragmentary remains of a larger landmass that exploded about 1600 BC: the volcano's core blew sky high, and the sea rushed into the abyss to create the great bay, which measures 10 km by 7 km (6 mi by 4½ mi) and is 1,292 feet deep. The other pieces of the rim, which broke off in later eruptions, are Thirassia, where a few hundred people live, and deserted little Aspronissi ("White isle"). In the center of the bay, black and uninhabited, two cones, the Burnt Isles of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, appeared between 1573 and 1925. There has been too much speculation about the identification of Santorini with the mythical Atlantis, mentioned in Egyptian papyri and by Plato (who says it's in the Atlantic), but myths are hard to pin down. This is not true of old arguments about whether tidal waves from Santorini's cataclysmic explosion destroyed Minoan civilization on Crete, 113 km (70 mi) away. The latest carbon-dating evidence, which points to a few years before 1600 BC for the eruption, clearly indicates that the Minoans outlasted the eruption by a couple of hundred years, but most probably in a weakened state. In fact, the island still endures hardships: since antiquity, Santorini has depended on rain collected in cisterns for drinking and irrigating—the well water is often brackish—and the serious shortage is alleviated by the importation of water. However, the volcanic soil also yields riches: small, intense tomatoes with tough skins used for tomato paste (good restaurants here serve them); the famous Santorini fava beans, which have a light, fresh taste; barley; wheat; and white-skin eggplants.
Agios Nikólaos, Kríti, Greece image
Day 27
Agios Nikólaos, Kríti, Greece
Arrival time: Early AM; Departure time: Late Night
Rhodes, Greece image
Days 28 - 29
Rhodes, Greece

The largest island of the Dodecanese and the fourth-largest Greek island, Rhodes has become a hugely popular summer holiday destination, with visitors drawn to the island for its historic charm, wonderful beaches and sensational Greek food. The bustling Unesco-listed old town, filled with a plethora of restaurants, shops, bars and historic sites, attracts thousands of tourists each year, as does Faliraki, the seaside resort famed for its lively nightlife. Alternatively, history lovers tend to flock to the Cyclades-style village of Lindos, home to the majestic Acropolis and the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of St John.

Bodrum, Turkey image
Day 31
Bodrum, Turkey
At the heart of Bodrum lies a tapestry of seafaring legends and maritime heritage, tracing back to ancient times when it was known as Halicarnassus, home to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate and azure waters, Bodrum offers a haven for those seeking an authentic escape from tourist crowds. Its charming streets, adorned with bougainvillea-draped whitewashed buildings, lead to hidden gems like local taverns serving fresh seafood and quaint cafes serving traditional Turkish delights. As dusk descends, Bodrum's Castle of St. Peter casts its enchanting glow over the harbor, a testament to its rich maritime legacy.
Kusadasi, Turkey image
Day 32
Kusadasi, Turkey
Welcome to Kusadasi, where the sands of time reveal tales of ancient civilizations and maritime adventures. Here, amidst the gentle Mediterranean climate and azure waters, cruise lines dock to unveil the treasures of this historic port city. Kusadasi offers an authentic escape from the typical tourist traps, with its winding streets, bustling markets, and welcoming locals. As a showcase for the real Turkey, Kusadasi boasts a rich culinary scene, where traditional Turkish delights tantalize the taste buds. And did you know? Kusadasi is home to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, attracting travelers from far and wide to marvel at its majestic ruins.
Istanbul, Turkey image
Day 34
Istanbul, Turkey
Welcome to Istanbul, where the echoes of ancient empires resound through the city's majestic skyline. Here, amidst the confluence of Europe and Asia, cruise lines dock to unveil the treasures of this historic metropolis. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate and vibrant energy, Istanbul offers a sensory feast for those seeking an authentic escape from the ordinary. From bustling bazaars to tranquil mosques, the city showcases the real essence of Turkey, where tradition and modernity intertwine. And did you know? Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents, bridging the gap between East and West with its timeless allure.
Valletta, Malta image
Day 37
Valletta, Malta

Malta: the country that God built. Well, kind of. Malta is well-known for being the once-stronghold of the famous religious military order, The Knights Hospitaller, who were granted the land in 1530 from the King of Spain in exchange for an annual fee of one Maltese falcon (which eventually inspired the name of Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel). And these marauding knights certainly did a great job putting the place together. Valletta, the nation’s capital, remains the highlight and exploring this fascinating walled city (which kept the Hospitallers secure until they came across Napoleon in 1798) is akin to walking back in time. It’s small size (just 0.3 square miles) makes it the perfect cruise stopover and is the ideal base for exploring the rest of the country on excursions.

Málaga, Spain image
Days 40 - 41
Málaga, Spain
As you sail into Malaga you will notice what an idyllic setting the city enjoys on the famous Costa del Sol. To the east of this provincial capital, the coast along the region of La Axarqua is scattered with villages, farmland and sleepy fishing hamlets - the epitome of traditional rural Spain. To the west stretches a continuous city where the razzmatazz and bustle creates a colourful contrast that is easily recognisable as the Costa del Sol. Surrounding the region, the Penibéetica Mountains provide an attractive backdrop overlooking the lower terraced slopes which yield olives and almonds. This spectacular mountain chain shelters the province from cold northerly winds, giving it a reputation as a therapeutic and exotic place in which to escape from cold northern climes. Malaga is also the gateway to many of Andalusia's enchanting historic villages, towns and cities.
Ship Details
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space, including an al-fresco restaurant.

Find your perfect cruise!
Cabins
All Prices